EdF has announced that a further ‘consultation’ will take place, commencing later this month, into its plans to saddle this county with a massive white elephant in the shape of Sizewell C (and D, as there are plans for two reactors at the site). While the holding of ‘consultations’ allows the industry to tick a box or two, it does nothing to address the fact that at no point since Blair announced in 2005 that ‘nuclear power is back on the agenda with a vengeance’, have the people of Suffolk had an opportunity to hear all the facts about and, more importantly, to express their view as to the need and desirability or otherwise of Sizewell C. The upcoming ‘consultation’ denies them that opportunity again. Where is the forum for people to say ‘no thanks’ to the entire project rather than to express a view as to how they would like the deckchairs arranged on the deck of a sinking ship and have their views listened to? There isn’t one and there never has been one. Therefore the stage two consultation is illegitimate as it still does not offer the opportunity for both sides of the debate to be made available to the public in a clearly presented document nor to register a view for or against Sizewell C but assumes that it is an inevitability, a foregone conclusion, slavishly supported by our local, regional and national representatives as well as the local wildlife NGOs, to their shame.

All of these agencies are in thrall to the nuclear industry and are chronically ill-informed of the consequences of allowing SZC to go ahead.They refuse to speak out against it and appear to be prepared to sacrifice the area for short-term jobs, patronage and ‘regeneration’. Their view, as summed up by the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, is let’s have jobs and growth today and not worry about the waste with nowhere to go and which will remain deadly for centuries, the health consequences which are still being debated in terms of leukaemia in children, the environmental disruption, the infringement on the area of outstanding natural beauty, the inadequacy of the emergency evacuation plan in the event of an accident or terrorist attack and nor the fact that the plant’s electricity is likely to be surplus to requirements by the time it is built. The Sizewell C enterprise is costly, environmentally disastrous, unsafe and leaves Suffolk residents more vulnerable to terrorism.

If the people of Suffolk want to see the character of their county changed forever by new road schemes, park-and-rides, compulsory purchases, massive increases in heavy goods traffic, new pylons which will whisk the electricity down to London while we bear the risks, with lethally hot and radioactive waste stored on an eroding coast for centuries, then they should tick the box and await the mayhem which will arrive with the thousands of workers from outside the area.If they value their county and the tranquillity of a rural environment as it has remained for so long, then they will tell the government and nuclear industry to get lost.

Pete Wilkinson